Tag Archives: COVID-19 pandemic

Girl Scout Senior Boosts Seniors’ Spirits During COVID-19 Pandemic

Submitted by Elizabeth B.

Metro Denver

Cherry Hills Village

My grandmom is in a senior home in Pennsylvania. We had plans to see her last March when COVID hit. I wanted to raise the spirits of seniors in assisted living who couldn’t have visitors. Since July 2020, I have hand painted almost 190 flower pots and planted succulents; made 100 Easter baskets and boxes for shut-ins; and decorated more than 300 room decorations. We donated these to seven different senior assisted living homes in the area.

I knew that seniors could use something to raise their spirits since they couldn’t go anywhere and couldn’t have visitors. I thought about what they might like that would be easy to take care of, and would last so they would always know someone was thinking about them. I love succulents, and thought some brightly decorated pots and succulents would be just the thing! Decorating the pots took a lot of time and creativity, but I loved how they looked in the end. For Easter, I wanted to do something a little different, so I found cute baskets and created Easter baskets for each resident, so they could have a fun surprise on Easter and they could use the Easter basket in the room after.  Overall, I have dedicated more than 100 hours to this work.

This is my 11th year as a Girl Scout, and I’ve completed my Bronze and Silver Awards, and am getting ready to take on my Gold! Girl Scouts has helped me grow my leadership skills, and finishing my Silver Award pushed me to go far outside my comfort zone, accomplishing something I never thought I could and impact the lives of dozens of kids.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Megan Burns, Colorado Springs, “The Silver Lining Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a website and social media presence made up of art created, inspired by, or created during the COVID-19 pandemic. I made it as a way for artists to express how they felt during this tumultuous time. I also created sticker designs in order to raise money for the website.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I knew my project has made an impact because I have gotten submissions from many different states and communities, all with different perspectives and ideas they wish to express through their art.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My website will stay active online after I have stopped receiving submissions. This is why I created my sticker designs. I also created a YouTube video as an advertisement to fully explain my project.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

I have received submissions from Ukraine and the UK. I have also gotten a blog up on the WAGGGS website to reach the international community further.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am more capable of connecting to dozens and dozens of people than I first thought I was. My time management skills were also strengthened as a result of this project.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

I am planning to pursue a career in graphic design in college. I can point to this project as an example of my web design and organizational skills. It could also potentially help me get a job later down the road.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I feel as though this project was a really good, finalizing way to end my time with Girl Scouts. It represents all the things I have learned and all the friends I have made being a part of it. I’m so proud of all I have been able to accomplish.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I feel as though my project in itself was a huge risk. Cultivating an online presence is extremely difficult and there were so many times I wondered if this would even work at all. I’m so thankful to say it did. I was lucky enough to have a mentor and support system that helped me find artists willing to submit.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scouts x UNICEF Kid Power

More than 50 million adults, children, and families in the United States are experiencing food insecurity, a number that has only increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those in need may include members of our own communities, friends and family, or members of our troops, making this an important take-action issue for Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts can make a big difference in their communities—and for children around the world—through GSUSA’s new partnership with UNICEF Kid Power®. This program will get girls moving, and allows your troop to unlock virtual coins to support local causes that provide meals to families in your community! And, for every ten exercise or mindfulness videos girls complete, UNICEF delivers one therapeutic food packet to a severely malnourished child. Your troop’s donation may go anywhere in the world!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Girl Scout Cookies available in Colorado on January 31

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is NOT cancelled! Starting January 31, Colorado Girl Scouts will be selling your favorite cookies in safe and innovative ways. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls are adapting their sales methods to include:

  • Hosting virtual and drive-thru cookie booths. You can text COOKIES to 59618 (message and data rates may apply) or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for free on iOS or Android devices to find booths in your area.
  • Making porch drop-offs to friends and family.
  • Creating their own websites using the Digital Cookie platform to take online orders. If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to get the link to her website. If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org/cookies on February 1 to purchase cookies from a local troop for direct shipment to your home or donate to local non-profits or the military.
  • Starting February 12, a new national collaboration with Grubhub will allow girls in select Colorado locations to take contact-free pickup and delivery orders. A hands-on experience in managing e-commerce, Girl Scouts will track and fulfill orders placed at grubhub.com/food/girl_scouts, manage inventory, and more, all using Grubhub’s back-end technology. As always, proceeds stay in Colorado. Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are grateful to Grubhub for waiving all fees for the organization to make this new delivery option feasible for sales without reducing proceeds.

Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Dos-si-Dos, and Lemon-Ups are $4/package. S’mores and gluten-free Toffee-tastic are $5/package. The 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program ends Sunday, March 7.

Now more than ever, Girl Scouts are relying on your support and the support of the community to meet their goals and make our world a better place. Last year, Troop 65430 from Highlands Ranch – Lone Tree used money earned from the Girl Scout Cookie Program to make masks, sneeze guards, and lanyards for teachers and staff at their school. This personal protective equipment helped keep everyone safe by slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve all been through a lot this past year and are longing for something that feels like normal,” said Leanna Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “What’s more reliable and comforting than Girl Scout Cookies? We are excited to be able to sell in new and innovative ways this year and hope the community will support our girls as they learn about entrepreneurship and run their own cookie businesses.”

Each purchase of Girl Scout Cookies supports girls in developing five lifelong skills: goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. When you purchase cookies, you are helping girls power their Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and you’re supporting female entrepreneurs. The important leadership, business, and financial literacy skills girls learn through the program position them for success in the future.

Making the world a better place is central to the Girl Scout mission. During the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Girl Scouts honor non-profit organizations, food banks, military, and uniformed personnel through Girl Scouts’ Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program. Through this program, customers have the opportunity to purchase a package of cookies to donate to Girl Scouts’ heroes – a perfect solution for those who pass on the tempting treats! Girls learn about the invaluable work of their recipients by taking tours, learning about careers in public service and helping with service projects. All Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring purchases may be eligible for a tax deduction. The 2021 goal for the Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program in Colorado is 200,000 packages.

All Girl Scout Cookie varieties contain zero grams of trans fat per serving. Thin Mints are vegan. Do-si-Dos and Trefoils have no hydrogenated oils. Further information about Girl Scout Cookie ingredients can be found at littlebrownie.com. High resolution images of Girl Scout Cookies and Colorado Girl Scouts selling cookies are available upon request.

Aurora Brownies Give Back During COVID-19 Pandemic

Troop 65343 of Aurora is bringing joy to residents at more than 30 nursing homes and hospice centers this holiday season! These ten Girl Scout Brownies are second graders at Rolling Hills Elementary School. They teamed up with Sun Tree Hospice of Colorado for a project called “Mail for Seniors.” The girls made and collected more than 150 cards to hang on garlands at the centers. Residents can now walk up and read the cards instead of touching them.

One of the girls in the troop talked with AuroraTV about the project. You can watch her interview here: https://www.auroratv.org/video/aurora-now-december-16-2020?jwsource=cl

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Submitted by Kendall Simono

Metro Denver

Brighton

We were thinking about an elderly friend of ours who is going to be alone this Christmas because her sister (who lived with her) passed away earlier this year. And because she doesn’t live in Colorado for us to visit, my daughter decided to make her a snowflake ornament out of beads to let her know we were thinking of her along with a letter. Because we had extra materials, she decided to make ornaments for older neighbors on our block to brighten their day (and maybe their trees) along with a simple note of happy holidays. We’ve been told this really made them smile.

Due to COVID, we’ve been spending a lot of time on crafts to keep us busy so why not share them with others to keep a smile on their face during this lonely time (for some).

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Cadettes Collect Items for Irving Street Women’s Shelter

Submitted by Media Star Charlotte H.

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

My Cadette Troop 61631 from Highlands Ranch led a drive for Denver’s Irving Street Women’s Shelter. Our troop started with a Zoom meeting to figure out what we wanted to accomplish. We selected this organization because we wanted to help women. Irving Street Women’s Shelter houses up to 25 women at a time, and women who live there are experiencing homelessness due to disability or mental health issues. Women can be welcomed to this residence to feel safe. 

Because of COVID, residents are limited to what they are able to do. We decided to collect gently used or new activities such as books, games, puzzles, and crafts. With winter coming, we also collected socks, gloves, and gently used clothes. 

Five girls from our troop participated. We designed flyers that were printed and given to neighbors. We also created digital flyers that we asked our parents to share on social media. Plus, our sister Junior Troop 66441 donated almost three dozen Fall Product Program items, such as candy and nuts for our drive. It felt good to help other women. We also made holiday cards to brighten their day.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

National Service Project: Fighting Hunger

From Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA)

More than 50 million adults, children, and families in the United States are experiencing food insecurity, a number that has only increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and may include members of our own communities, friends and family, or members of our troops, making this a sensitive and important take action issue for Girl Scouts.

As they think about how to give back this holiday season, girls can make a big difference in their communities—and for children around the world—by supporting hunger relief efforts. There are lots of ways for your troop to make an impact, whether you’re meeting safely in person or virtually and even if you aren’t able to give food directly:

(Hint: check out our detailed troop leader instructions (PDF) for helpful tips for each project!)

  1. Support a food drive in your community or organize your own (DOC)!
  2. Thank a Food Bank Hero! Write to a Food Bank Hero to show your troop’s appreciation and send encouragement for the hard and vital work they do. Mail your handwritten notes to your local food bank.
  3. Volunteer at a drive-thru food distribution program if there are COVID-safe options with local food banks in your area. (And if your troop is old enough!)

Once your troop has completed this service project, remember to:

  • Inspire others to give back! Post a photo of your project to your social networks using the hashtags #GirlScoutsGiveBack and #GSColo. Be sure to tag GSCO on FacebookTwitter, or  Instagram.
  • Complete GSUSA’s survey so your troop’s impact can be counted in our national service projects.
  • If you wish to recognize your troop’s participation with a patch, we recommend this Girl Scouts Give Back patch.

For all National Service Project activities taking place during COVID-19, please make sure that your troop complies with health and safety guidelines given by the CDC, your local government, and your local Girl Scout council.

Check out more detailed guidance:

Instructions for Troop Leaders (PDF)

Food Drive Toolkit (DOC) 

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Grand Junction Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

Submitted by Jenni Grossman

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

Congratulations to McKenzie, Lauren, Abbie, Jolie, and Peyton from Troop 13497 in Grand Junction! They earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for a project to help seniors in nursing homes who may be feeling lonely due to visiting restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The girls made videos and special crafts, including photos, drawings, and activity sheets, for multiple nursing homes in their area. Two of the nursing homes were chosen because one of the girls has a family member living there.

The Girl Scouts started a different project to earn the Bronze Award in February 2020, but then had to do a 360 in March when COVID-19 hit. They thought the residents of the nursing homes would be so lonely due to visiting restrictions. The girls decided to make videos of their favorite children’s books so the activities directors could play them for the residents. The girls also wanted some activities for the residents. After the girls called multiple places, they learned they had to laminate whatever they picked, so it could be sanitized. They each made five to ten different sheets (drawings, word searches, mazes paintings, colored pictures with uplifting quotes) for the residents. The girls also made copies of their work and laminated each one. Each nursing home received 40 drawing/activity laminated sheets. We also gave the organizations a list of the videos that the girls made so they could access them whenever they wanted.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Silver Award Project: The Support Pal Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Rebecca G.

Metro Denver

Denver

We have all been struggling to adjust to our new normal: wearing masks outside our homes, schools going online, social distancing, and many other challenges. During this difficult time, frontline healthcare workers are dealing with all of these challenges as well as many others due to this deadly new virus with no vaccine or cure.

Elderly patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and their own homes experience some of the highest pandemic-related risks, both in susceptibility to the virus and increased severity of the subsequent illness. The most debilitated elderly, those with terminal illnesses, often choose hospice care to enhance their quality of life when that time is limited. Hospice nurses work to make sure these patients are as comfortable as possible. Under normal circumstances, before the pandemic, these nurses worked tirelessly, each leading a whole team of individuals working to ensure that hospice patients receive the best care. Due to the pandemic’s requirements of social distancing and contact precautions, everyone on the hospice team except the hospice nurse is prohibited from seeing the hospice patients in person; therefore, the hospice nurse now bears the full responsibility for in-person support of the isolated hospice patient. This increased responsibility and pressure on the hospice nurses inspired my Silver Award Project.

To start, I asked the nurses what their biggest challenges are at this time. Their responses included protecting themselves from COVID-19, witnessing the heartbreak of loved ones who are not able to visit their family members due to strict “no visitor” rules, talking through their masks, and needing lots of ziplock and paper bags for their PPE. I took these struggles into account and created a plan to help them.

First, I painted boxes for the nurses to keep in their cars to store their PPE and other equipment and I personalized each box for each nurse. I also painted a smaller box to hold their personal items. With these boxes, the nurses can streamline their trunk organization for transporting their supplies.

Next, to make the real difference in the nurses’ lives, I created the Support Pal Program. I invited Girl Scouts from many different troops to participate and assigned each Girl Scout volunteer one hospice nurse to support. Each week, the Girl Scout Support Pal sends her assigned nurse an email with an uplifting message or joke to brighten her nurse’s day. The nurses have reported that they look forward to these emails that make them smile and brighten their week. Please note that this is not a pen pal program requiring the nurses to respond! The Support Pals’ emails help the nurses deal with their stress and make their week better. It is a one way support system for these hero-nurses at this difficult time.

This Silver Award Project is vital at a time when healthcare workers are under so much stress. Hospice nurses always help others so this is our chance to help them. Thank you to all the brave nurses and doctors risking their lives in nursing homes and in hospitals to help their patients. I would also like to thank my troop leader and mother for her help, ideas, and support during this project and for her dedication to her patients everyday. Thank you.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.